Shared Knowledge


How to - Drill a Screw Hole in Thin Sheet Metal


18 November 2006




Summary: Only drill as small a hole in sheet metal as possible to allow screw to just catch.





What’s to drilling a sheet metal screw hole into thin metal? Don’t you just drill? No!




- If you can punch a hole, that is better than a drilled hole as the punch will leave a nice metal lip in the inside of the hole for the sheet metal screen to thread to. Punch? Use a tool called a punch and a hammer. Of course not everything can be punched all the way through


-  Use a punch to mark the spot where you want your hole. If you have ever tried to drill a hole in a flat piece of metal with a regular electric drill, you know how the drill bit wants to walk all over the place. To fix this problem, punch a slight indent or depression for your drill bit to fit into. If you can not punch, drill a starter hole with a very small drill bit. The starter hole will do the same thing as a punch depression for a larger drill bit.


- Use as small a drill bit hole as you can that will still allow you to thread sheet metal screws the hole. When you drill, you remove metal and to hold a sheet metal screw tight, you need all the metal you can get.


Although it is tempting to use an electric screwdriver to either start or completely screw tight a sheet metal screw, be careful. If when the screw begins to draw tight, you do not stop just at the right moment, the threads of the screw will strip out the metal lip on the back of the metal hole. If possible, when the sheet metal screw is almost flush with the sheet metal, hand screw it tight and do not over tighten.



Ron - Shared Knowledge Home